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Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008 | To: Frank de Clercq, Vice President of San Diego Firefighters, Local 145

From: Robert E. Lee, District 3 candidate

Re: District 3 endorsement

In a response to a letter to voiceofsandiego.org, you state: “Our executive board invited all candidates running for office to meet with us if they were seeking our endorsement. Almost all candidates we contacted met with us while a couple chose to not even respond.”

With all due respect, Mr. de Clercq, I wonder if you’ve inhaled too much smoke from the fires you have presumably fought. At no time was I ever contacted ever to appear before your executive board to interview for the Local 145 endorsement for District 3. Your claim to have fairly reached out to all candidates is a blatant untruth!

So, I will go over your head, Mr. de Clercq, and speak directly to the rank-and-file members of the Fire-Rescue Department: I am on record, and have spoken quite publicly, of my support for our public safety — fire-rescue and police — personnel. Although city elections are officially non-partisan, this Republican (me) opposed the administration’s position last year to deny the firefighters some kind of compensation increase, even if it was a small amount, just to keep up with the rate of inflation. I was at the City Council meeting last year in support of the firefighters’ cause to receive their fair share of a compensation increase. (Lorena Gonzalez was there, and I briefly spoke to her.) Because of my work schedule, I was not able to get to the Council chambers in time to speak in favor of the firefighters.

My top, core belief is that public safety is the number one duty of government, from the city level up to federal. If citizens feel unsafe and unprotected, nothing else matters.

I will simply ask the firefighters and police professionals who live in District 3 for your vote on June 3. I’m just sorry your “leaders” at Local 145 chose not to play fair in the District 3 endorsement process. I can assure you that, if I’m elected to City Council, I will not play the kind of dirty pool I’ve highlighted here.

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